Housing providers bring local people and services together
10 December 2019
Four housing associations have joined together to host an information event for people aged 55 and over who live in the homes they provide in the Derry/Londonderry area.
Pictured at the 'Making Connections' event are L-R: Peter Small, Apex tenant; Teresa McDonough, Habinteg tenant; Rachael Power from Apex; Marian McCallion, Clanmil tenant; Mayor of Derry City and Strabane, Cllr Michaela Boyle; Ryan Young from Radius; Margaret McLaughlin from Habinteg; Austin Kelly from Clanmil and Bernie Cassidy, Radius tenant.
More than 80 people attended the free "Making Connections" event at the Maldron Hotel in the City which was organised by Apex, Clanmil Housing, Radius and Habinteg.
At the event, which was introduced by Cllr Michaela Boyle, Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District, people were able to find out about local services for over 55s. They also enjoyed lunch, music and a game of bingo together.
North West Volunteer Centre, Libraries NI, Drink Wise, Good Morning Call, Pension Wise and the Disability Equality Group all had information stands at the event. Advice on will writing, welfare and local foodbanks was also available.
Marian McCallion, who attended the event said:
"We've had a great day and I've found out lots of useful information about what's going on in my local area that I could be involved in. It was really nice to spend time with my neighbours and meet up with other people who live close by. Hopefully there will be more events like this coming up."
Austin Kelly, Community Cohesion Officer at Clanmil said:
"It makes perfect sense for housing associations in the area to work together like this. Our tenants all share the same issues and interests and we can do much more to support them by working together.
"Events like this not only help people find out about, and tap into, the services and activities available in their area, but they also provide opportunities to meet new people, make friends and build a wider social network. We're really pleased that so many people have come along."
Rachael Power, Senior Communities Officer at Apex commented:
"It's been fantastic to see older tenants from across the city enjoying an afternoon together in the lead up to Christmas. For many, this is a magical time of year but it can also become a lonely period for those who don't have a wide circle of family and friends. We're delighted to be able to jointly host this event allowing neighbours to come together and build stronger friendships."
Margaret McLaughlin, North West Community Involvement Officer with Habinteg said:
"It has been such a positive event for local residents enjoying the social aspect of the occasion while accessing real support, and for those of us helping to deliver services to the community, being able to work together and pool our shared experience."
Ryan Young, Community Empowerment Coordinator at Radius said:
"We are delighted to work in partnership with our housing association colleagues on initiatives like this, which make such a difference to the people living in our communities."